Friday, December 16, 2016

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #8 Chris Shaw

Chris Shaw, 1B.  DOB:  10/20/1993.  B-L, T-R.  6'4", 235 lbs.  Drafted 2015 Round 1 Supplemental.

2015 SS:  .287/.360/.551, 11 2B, 12 HR, 19 BB, 41 K, 178 AB.
2016 A+:  .285/.357/.544, 22 2B, 16 HR, 28 BB, 70 K, 270 AB.
2016 AA:  .246/.309/.414, 16 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 10 BB, 55 K, 232 AB.

At first glance it looks like Chris Shaw really struggled after a midseason promotion to AA, and he did, but that is only part of the story.  He actually did a full face plant for the first month with a .206 BA, but then recovered to slash .279/.322/.505 for the month of August.

Midseason promotions, especially for hitters going from the A+ Cal League to the much less hitter friendly AA Eastern League is extremely tough.  Not only are they going up a level in competition and to a much less hitter friendly league, but the opposing players have been 3 months of experience at the level which presumably makes them better players in the process.  A 1 month adjustment period should not be surprising in this context.

All in all, Shaw has hit a total of 33 HR's in 680 pro AB's and remains the premier power hitting prospect in the Giants system.  Scouts are not enamored with his body, which is huge, but he has a strong throwing arm and enough speed to hit 4 triples for Richmond, but he is panned for his athleticism at 1B.  I wonder if his big body is biasing scouting reports of his D at first?  I saw him play for SJ and he looked agile enough to me.

It seems like a lot of dominoes would fall into place if the Giants felt Shaw was ready for a AAA assignment in 2017 as then Jonah Arenado could move up to play 1B for Richmond and Dillon Dobson could take over in SJ with Ryan Kirby moving into the position in Augusta.  The biggest thing standing in the way of Shaw and playing 1B for the Giants is a pair of size 15's and $72 M, and if you think the Belt Wars were brutal, wait until the Shaw vs Belt War breaks out on the internet!   I do think Shaw has a chance to be a better LH power hitter than Belt, but the Giants have never been inclined to dump the bird in the hand for the one in the bush.


  1. Good to know on what you saw ( And think) of his defense. I like Shaw, but can't help but think that his future is going to be a trade chip in the future. Unless that is that Belt just bottoms out ( Which I doubt.) or the Giants trade him ( Which I also doubt.). Even though Sabean has expressed frustration with Belt.

  2. I've seen Shaw play a couple times and I agree with you. He looked much more athletic than I was expecting given the scouting reports. Maybe a young Michael Morse?

  3. Is Shaw's swing more like Schwarber (compact and level thru the zone) and like Belt's (how do describe his??). just asking for a comparison... Barry in NV

    1. IDK about Schwarber's swing but Belt's? I would describe Belt's swing in the second half of 2016 as working out of a full windup! Shaw's is protecting the plate/2-strike approach by comparison.

  4. Giants got their luxury tax bill... $3.4 million.

    And I'm not looking forward to the next iteration of 'The Belt Wars: But What About Shaw?"

  5. Shaw at AAA, risk and rewards:
    The bad -- not ready, fail. How bad is this? How likely?
    The good -- opens up AA 1B. Increase visibility for trade chip.
    Getting Arenado to AA is good, although the same end could be accomplished by May or so with merited promotions?